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Author Topic:   Z-Spar or Cetol Marine for Whalerwood?
ShrimpBurrito posted 06-21-2002 01:27 AM ET (US)   Profile for ShrimpBurrito   Send Email to ShrimpBurrito  
A guy I met at a boat show recently (who has a marine shop) recommended using 10 coats of Cetol Marine to finish all wood in marine environments. He had some boats there with it on, and it looked great, but I don't know how it holds up. Alternatively, Whaler apparently "approved" the used of eight coats of some kind of Z-Spar varnish to fix the 1998 Anniversary edition of the Sport when they had all those varnish cracking problems. I'm not sure what they used on my SS back in 1987. Does anyone have any experience with these products or have any particular recommendations on what might be best? Thanks!
lhg posted 06-21-2002 02:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I use Z-Spar Flagship varnish. Cetol & Sikkens are not a varnish, and too orange for my tastes. BW never used it at all.
crosley95 posted 06-21-2002 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for crosley95  Send Email to crosley95     
if i'm not mistaken i don't believe that sikkens was around for the boston whaler wood days. i've just finished using sikkens and it certainly laid down very nice. time will tell. 2 coats of the sikkens original. 3 coats of sikkens gloss. as the directions say.


jojoscoot posted 06-21-2002 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jojoscoot  Send Email to jojoscoot     
I also use the Z-Spar flagship varnish and it is great. It not only stands up well to the elements, but it is also much easier to apply than other varnishes I have used, and cheaper as well.
David Ratusnik posted 06-23-2002 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
I've moved away from oil and varnish--using Starbrit Teak Sealer. Like it. Tough enough to handle salt water and the beating we give it cruising, watersports, plus fishing on a weekly basis. The dogs do not seem to scratch the teak as easily either with this sealer on it. Has a little orange hue--not great-- but ok. Anyone else out there using Starbrite Teak Sealer. What do you think? kDavid
ShrimpBurrito posted 06-23-2002 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Using teak sealer would be great if I had teak, but I have the original mahogany. Both are expensive, so I'm trying to use as much of the original wood as possible.
David Ratusnik posted 06-24-2002 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Shrimp- Starbrite makes a clear sealer, might work on your mahagony. Thoughts. David
SeaHag posted 06-24-2002 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for SeaHag  Send Email to SeaHag     
Okay, I just finished my teak job. Went with oil vs. others. Looks classic.

Question, though.

Dave, do you have Teak Sealer over something (like Oil) or do you have the Sealer directly on the wood? I guess what I am asking is there any benefit (aesthetic included) to putting sealer over oil or is this overkill????

David Ratusnik posted 06-25-2002 08:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Seahag- I like the Starbrite Teak sealer with the bit of red hue to it. I've put it over largely washed out oil. Teak oil just does not last very long in heavy salt water boat use. In addition to abit of interesting color the sealer is tough. Resists scratching by dogs and lasts about 6 months. I use a Starbrite cleaner, then brightener scrub job before the sealer goes on. The nice thing about the Starbrite product is that it can be removed by the Starbrite cleaner if you do not like it. I find this teak sealer much lower maintenance then varnish or oil (which I was using). Works for me. .03 David
Ed Z posted 06-25-2002 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Z  Send Email to Ed Z     
I just got some "Plucid" from the POR 15 folks.... I will give it a test on something easy like the anchor well cover... They say its crystal clear, is water proof, hard as a rock, and gets harder and tougher the more its exposed to water... Anybody have any experience with the stuff.??? I really like the other POR 15 products, hope this proves to be as good as advertised...
fester posted 06-25-2002 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for fester  Send Email to fester     
I to use Starbrite Teak Sealer on my teak and am pleased with it. It seems to last for about six months before it needs to be redone. It is easy to use. Like David stated, the sealer does turn the wood a bit orange/red color but I like it.

I used Cetol for a number of years on a teak swim step of a searay I used to own. The Cetol held up well and was much more durable than the varnishes that were available at the time. The swim step would look good for three to four years before needing to be redone. Cetol is not a varnish and it does not have the gloss that a varnish does. It turns the wood a bit orange and takes a fair amount of work to apply. If I remember correctly, Cetol also should be applied in the shade. In addition to Cetol, Sikens also makes a product which has more of gloss to it than Cetol. This product is much less durable than Cetol. If you want more gloss than Cetol provides, you can mix the Cetol with the Sikens gloss product and you will have a fairly glossy durable surface. But, the more gloss you use, the less durable your finish will be.

bsmotril posted 06-26-2002 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Cetol will outlast most any finish out there on wood left outdoors. But, it does change the coloring as others have mentioned. Also, mask any nearby gelcoat. It will stain gelcoat and is very thin. This makes it creep under masking tape that may not have a well sealed edge.
ShrimpBurrito posted 06-26-2002 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
As opposed to mixing the Cetol with something like Z-Spar (for color), would there be any non-aesthetic difference to putting a coat of one on top of the other?
kenyon posted 06-26-2002 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for kenyon  Send Email to kenyon     
fester, i have oiled my teak gun rails for 15 years, looks great but iam sick of doing it! i am a fresh water boater and the teak is pretty much saturated in oil.. i would like to clean it and seal it and be done with it.. what would suggest i do?


David Ratusnik posted 06-26-2002 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Kenyon- I'd look into the Starbrite CLEAR sealer. .03 David
63WHALER posted 06-27-2002 07:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for 63WHALER    
Has anyone tried a product from West Marine called WoodPro. I sanded down RPS and applied three coats of this product as per the directions. Really like the way it turned out and would recommend it. It was easy to apply. This is a new synthetic product and is supposed to be very durable and is extremely transparent. I also used the satin finish instead of the high gloss to keep with the natural beaty of the wood. I'll also ad this product claims to be flexible, breathable, & provide UV & weather protection for teak and other woods.


ShrimpBurrito posted 07-17-2002 07:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
63Whaler - A self proclaimed "varnish snob" I met at the West Marine store said that the store's WoodPro is their generic version of Z-spar varnish, albeit a small step down in quality.

I haven't used either, so I can't say from experience.

alan posted 07-18-2002 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for alan  Send Email to alan     
After a few years of the pain of working the teak on my Outrage 18 I said "got to do something else". Saw my friends wood done in Cetol and thought it looked great. Last year I did five coats of regular Cetol and after the season it looked as great as the day I applied it. Boat is moored in salt water all summer. This year did a quick two coats of Cetol Gloss finish and I am very impressed with the results. Great stuff and I really think it's not that orangey and certainly looks a hell of a lot better that dirty teak. Now I use on all marine wood applications.
swoodfield posted 07-18-2002 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for swoodfield  Send Email to swoodfield     
I completely refinished the mahogany console and teak seat back on my '73 Nauset last May. I did 5 coats of Cetol and 4 coats of Gloss over that. It stays out in Charleston SC and looks as good today as it did the day I finished. The "orange" is very slight and actually covers some of the stains in the older wood. I will never use varnish again!
Orca posted 07-18-2002 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
I have had Cetol on my Outrage teak for 6 years without touch up. I am completing a 10 coat redo of my Nauset with Captains Z-Spar. Can't compare them. A good varnish job is just plain beautiful! No pain no gain.
showcs1 posted 07-19-2002 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for showcs1  Send Email to showcs1     
I have a question about the wood, especially teak. Will a pressure washer bring it back to life like on cedar furnature or is there a danger of damaging the wood. I don't have teak (yet), my boat has mahogany and it is in good shape. Also, isn't Honduras mahogany used on Whalers or was someone pulling my leg?
ShrimpBurrito posted 07-19-2002 01:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Orca - It sounds like you're stripping the Cetol in favor of the varnish because of looks. Is that the case? Would you happen to have any pics of the Cetol by any chance?

I'm convinced of its durability; I just don't know how it's going to look. Then again, maybe I don't have to be concerned. My boat is garaged when it's not out crabbing.

crosley95 posted 07-20-2002 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for crosley95  Send Email to crosley95     

there seems to be little doubt about the beauty of a fine varnish job. it requires a great deal of prep, the almost perfect environment, more patience, more time.

i chose cetol for the reasons mentioned in a few of the last posts. i figure i'll use my boat 25 - 35 days a year. on a trailer and covered the rest of the time. this thing will look like the day it was finished for a long long time. and when it does get a blem. you simply do a minor repair with the cetol.

i don't know from experience, but i think cetol is pretty difficult to strip.


ShrimpBurrito posted 07-21-2002 03:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I still have not seen a sample of mahogany treated with Cetol, but I've decided to finish the wood with it anyway.

In case anyone is doing the same, don't get the Cetol at West Marine. 1 gal is $100, but Boaters World has it for $80. Plus, the manager gave me $5 off that without even asking. 1 qt at West Marine is $33, Boaters World is $25. Couldn't believe the price difference was that significant between 2 chain stores.

alan posted 07-25-2002 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for alan  Send Email to alan     
funny you should compare West and Boater's World. My friends and I found that West is consistantly higher in price, from 15% to 30% in some areas.
Sammy posted 07-25-2002 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sammy  Send Email to Sammy     
Found the same thing to be true between West Marine and the BOAT US stores. Identical products - 10-30%+ higher at West even on some big ticket items. West employees are pretty touchy about the subject, too.

As far as wood finishes go, I'm with Orca. It's hard to compare any others to a well done finish using a quality marine spar varnish. Superior durability as well as aesthetics. After using Deks Olje, Sikkens Cetol & teak oil...the minimal shortcuts don't seem to make sense (and in the long run, teak oil is actually more work).

Have had excellent results with Z-Spar's Flagship and Petit's Bak-V-Spar...high solids content, great UV protection, stays flexible, very nice. Epiphanes is a little trickier to work with becuase it's so thick on application. Don't care for the newer polyurethane varnishes...the finish seems much more brittle. On-going maintenance with a quality varnish requires only a soft touch with a fine grit wet sand or scuffing with Scotch Brite (finest grit auto body grade) and applying another coat. Don't cheap-out on the brush - use a high grade bristle brush.

It requires effort...cutting the first two coats so the varnish gets a good initial bite on the wood, scuffing with Scotch Brite before coats 3-5 or 6, GENTLY wet sanding (using a sanding block where possible) before all other coats until you're satisfied with the finish (8-10 coats?). You'll have a finish that, with proper mainenance, is good for 20+ years and is second to none in apperance. Sure if you ignore it, the finish will end up looking like hell - but that holds true for just about anything. Since mahogany has such an open grain and a bit less character than, for example teak, make sure you use a quality filler stain (again, Petit makes some nice products) before the first coat of varnish. That step can be by-passed with teak.

I'll never use oil on teak again...looks good for a few months but breaks down quickly under UV exposure and the oil attracts dirt which actually speeds up the demise of the finish...and then you're right back where you started. If the only choice is oil let it go gray.

Using varnish is like a lot of other things, though - end results usually reflect front end effort. It has nothing to do with being a varnish snob...anyone here can tell the difference between the car painted by a Maako body shop and one painted in a quality shop. Just like you can pick out the boats built by companies focused on quality willing to put time and effort into their product - Black Fin, Bertram, an older Hatteras, BW, etc. - from the stuff built by companies where the marketing people and/or beancounters rule.

Everyone has to go with what works best for them, but it just seems that a quality boat deserves a quality finish.

Samsneet posted 05-10-2011 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Samsneet  Send Email to Samsneet     
Hi, thankas for all of the threads on this topic.
I am refinishing the wood on a 72 Montauk. I have it stripped down and there are some solid black stains throughout the wood, even after sanding. Also, not all of the wood is mahogany so there are different shades of wood. I did a test with v spar 2015 and i love the finish, but i want to have more of a consistent color.

Does anyone know if i can apply a couple coats of stain on the wood that will help me get a more consistent color, and then apply my 6-8 coats of v spar 2015?

I really appreciate the advice,

L H G posted 05-11-2011 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I stain all of my mahogany and teak before varnishing with Z-Spar Flagship. I use ZAR #120 teak color oil based stain. I think it greatly enhances the finish, and I get compliments on my varnish work all of the time. The stain also protects the wood from UV discoloration and yellowing.
A Little Madness posted 05-11-2011 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for A Little Madness  Send Email to A Little Madness

A Little Madness posted 05-11-2011 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for A Little Madness  Send Email to A Little Madness     
Sorry on the previous post. Hit the enter too fast. Anyway, if you're starting from bare wood like I have, I'd suggest starting off by sealing the wood (completely encapsulate it) with West System Expoxy, starting off w/a thinned mix (50%) which you actually squeegie down into the grain, a 75% coat, then 1-2 100% coats, of course burnish sanding between coats. As we all know, moisture in the wood, under any type varnish is your big enemy. Total encapsulation using West System was taught to me by a local who builds wooden canoes & kayaks. After that I put 6-7 coats of Epiphanes High Gloss Varnish. The beauty of Epiphanes is that if you apply the next coat in less than 72 hours you DO NOT have to burnish sand between coats...which is a life saver when apply that many coats. I did this to my whaler 7 years ago and this year burnished and reapplied 3 coats of Epiphanes Varnish. Yes, I keep most of my teak covered when she's not in use, but I also keep her in the water & used year-round. I've included a link to my personal page for you to see the results. One man's opinion.....Good Luck!

TommyWhaler posted 05-11-2011 03:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for TommyWhaler  Send Email to TommyWhaler     
Kinda in line with this thread. I have a fishing platform in my '72 Outrage. It needs to be refinished, as the wood has turned grey, etc. There are some places where a previous owner filled in flaws and divots. Some maybe 2 inches by 1/2 inch. They are a completely different color. After removing, what should the divots be filled with?
Samsneet posted 05-11-2011 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Samsneet  Send Email to Samsneet     
Thanks a lot, I've been trying to get advice from West Marine, but no one in any of the Fort Myers stores had any experience with anything to do with varnishing. Then, I did find one can of petit wood filler/stain on their shelf, but it was dated 5/05, which seems a little old to me. So I'm going to try to find someone else here locally that sells the products both of you were talking about. I have some time, so i'm gonna try both methods on some sample wood and see what I like better. Thanks!

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